About Masonry » Brick

Masonry is a timeless material and never goes out of fashion with an infinite number of possibilities for pattern and form. It has been the material of choice for castles and cathedrals, pyramids and great walls, schools and museums, hospitals and high-rises, bridges, roads, fences, and everything in between. Although it is often imitated (stamped concrete, stamped Exterior Insulating and Finish System (EIFS), stamped stucco and masonite), very few materials are as versatile as masonry and fewer still are as durable.


Clay brick masonry has been used for at least 10,000 years. Sun dried bricks were widely used by the Egyptians and Babylonians with reference in the bible of burnt brick being used for the Tower of Babylon. The Romans began using brick burnt (fired) in kilns extensively in the first century A.D and spread the art of brick making through out Europe.

Today there are two types of materials used in the manufacture of brick in Canada:

  1. Clay Brick
  2. Concrete Brick

There are various sizes and configurations of brick but the largest distinction in brick veneer (the most common use for brick in Alberta) is the thickness of the brick.

  1. Full bed brick veneer – Greater than 3″ (76 mm) in thickness and tied to the structural wall with brick ties.
  2. Thin brick veneer – Slices of brick less than 1-1/2″ (38 mm) in thickness and adhered to the wall.

Occasionally brick is still used structurally as with brick arches.

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